Forgiveness

for·give·ness
ˌfərˈɡivnəs/
noun
  1. the action or process of forgiving or being forgiven.
    “she is quick to ask forgiveness when she has overstepped the line”
    synonyms: pardonabsolutionexonerationremissiondispensationindulgenceclemencymercy;

    reprieveamnesty;
    archaicshrift
    “we beg your forgiveness”If

     

     

    If you are human, you have likely asked for and been asked for forgiveness.  We all sometimes hurt someone’s feelings inadvertently or maybe even on purpose, take something without asking, cut someone off in conversation.. little transgressions or big ones. Some people find themselves begging forgiveness in a court of law.  And if  you are a believer you ask forgiveness often and know it is given.

     

    I was recently asked for forgiveness in a well rehearsed, very dramatic video.  I listened all the way through but could not watch after the first few minutes.  I am struggling with this. I do forgive, because I have to for my own peace of mind but am I obligated to forget?  Am I supposed to act like this person did not break my heart, destroy my sense of security, shatter my trust and actively attempt to destroy relationships with the few family members I have left?  All out of childishness, spite and a very distorted sense of entitlement.  Do I ignore the timing?  There were many, many opportunities to clear the air.  I waited patiently, was treated to more abuse and harassment, manipulations and twisting of facts until I finally said no more and put it all in my past and started to heal.  And now because their situation has changed and they are looking to “reconnect” the band-aid gets ripped off and I’m bleeding out again.

Forgive and forget?  nah. Forgive and move on.

 

 

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I’m not crazy, you’re crazy

Ever read those “My Guardian Angel” stories in magazines?   The ones where someone asks for a sign from a departed loved one and lo and behold they start finding shiny dimes everywhere, birds serenade their every move and butterflies flit about their heads in weird synchronized formation?  Have you ever asked for a sign?   Or thought you had gotten an unsolicited one?  I can remember seeing a huge black and white butterfly the day Comet passed. I had never seen one quite like it before or since.  I’m sure it was a weird coincidence though, because if he was able to come back it would mostly likely be something a little more chaotic than a butterfly.  Probably a chupacabra or something.

I was sitting on the deck yesterday thinking about my husband and sister and other family members who passed in the summer. I looked at the butterfly bush  we planted as a memorial and said out loud “where is my damn sign?” and then went back to my book.   A little later I was scouting around the house and deck looking for my little indoor cat who had decided to make a break for it when I let the dog out.  I passed a large honeysuckle bush below my living room window and noticed a wind chime was missing.   I have a lot of them in the trees around the house but I had just bought this one and hung it where I would see it every day.  It had a wine cork, silver feather and some plastic yellow bead for weight.   I liked having it close to the window because it had nice tone.. not too loud.  I looked everywhere and started to feel a little put out that someone would take it, then a little nervous. I don’t exactly live on the street and this was pretty close to my back door.  I even looked in all the other trees where I might hang wind chimes just in case I had taken up sleep walking and nocturnal redecorating. It was nowhere.  This morning when I went out to get my morning paper I did another scan. Nothing.  When I was passing by a lilac bush on the way back to the house  it. was. right. there.  Hanging in plain sight, over a large planter I had watered the night before.  It was hanging from a branch just out of my reach. I can see it from several vantage points, both inside and out.   It would be hard to miss.   So why couldn’t I see it yesterday and how did it get there?    Oh, and the yellow bead?  It’s a butterfly.  I had never noticed.

Every time things settle down there is always that one person who has to reintroduce chaos and unease into the mix and just on cue, this week of all weeks, it’s looking like another shit storm on the horizon. I am feeling unsettled and unnerved.  Maybe I moved the damned wind chime and can’t remember, or the guy mowing the lawn got tired of hitting his head.  Or maybe it is a sign that I’m not alone in this.

Either way, it made me laugh out loud there in my driveway at 7:30 a.m. in my nightgown with a windbreaker over it and a serious case of bed head.  Like the neighbors don’t already wonder…..

 

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Anniversaries

anniversaries

 

June 1st would have been my 33rd wedding anniversary and June 6 was the 5 year anniversary of his death.   5 years.  It doesn’t seem possible. It’s a blink and a lifetime. In 5 years I have found new employment, made new friendships and rediscovered old friends.  I have had to take on a bigger role in family members’ care – took a crash course or two to that end. Have proudly watched both of my daughters buy their first homes – completely on their own.  We recently visited my nephew in London where he is following his dreams and making his mama proud.

I am slowly building a life of my own and no longer feeling guilt for enjoying it. I’m getting closer to making a decision about my home.  I trust that when the time is right the decision will make itself.

Last year I had to say goodbye to the world’s worse dog and I miss him terribly.  He lived almost three years to the day from the time I wrote about his  cancer.  Comet  And it was a good three years.

Speaking of cancer and anniversaries, I am still cancer free and only have to see the oncologist once a year.  Still on medication for another ?8 years and probably longer since they keep moving the goal posts.  My diagnosis was 6 years ago and end of (the tough) treatment 5 years.  There’s that number again.   I’d play the lottery but I used up all my luck in high school.

Whenever I’m absent from the blog for any length of time I feel guilty for not keeping up with all of the wonderful bloggers I follow.   I’m going to sign off for now and do some catching up. I hope I find you all well .hugs_drib_cindysuen

 

 

 

 

 

Being thankful

It’s that time of year to take stock of all we have to be thankful for.

I am thankful for friends and family who have stood by me through some pretty horrific shit.

I am thankful for those who removed themselves when they found they could not stand by me.

I am thankful for my continued health (5 years this month since my diagnosis) and the health of my children and parents.

I am thankful I was given a chance at a job I had zero experience with, where I get to make a difference in people’s lives every day.

I am thankful I live in a country where I can voice my displeasure and disappointment in the results of a contentious election without fear.

I’m thankful for the people who read, comment on, and like this blog and share themselves in their own blogs.

I’m thankful for the 50 years I had with my sister and the 30 years I had with my husband. I will miss them both every day of my life, but the memories will live on in my heart forever .

I hope you all have a lot to be thankful for today, too.  xxxooo

thankful-people

Anniversaries, loss and new beginnings…

I am approaching the dreaded block of time in June and July that drives home all I have lost.  June 1st would have been our 31st wedding anniversary, June 6 is the 3rd anniversary of his death and July 10th the 4th anniversary of my sister’s death.  My “cancerversary” is not until November when I will be 5 years cancer free.  My doctors tell me the clock actually started ticking after I finished treatment and I don’t get the official “cured” for some time yet.   I believe that I was cancer free when I left the OR.  All the rest was just insurance. That’s my story, anyway, and I’m sticking to it.

This year has brought more losses, not through death, but in some ways more painful and certainly personal.   It’s also brought some amazing and positive changes.  I have a new career working with the homeless community, helping them to achieve permanent, stable housing. It is the most frustrating and rewarding work I have ever done and I love every minute of it.  I still have my business, volunteer work, family and good friends to keep me busy and grounded, not to mention my animals.  Comet has survived two bouts of cancer and will be 14 soon.  He has a new pep in his step. Clover is nearly 10 and lame with bad hips.  She struggles to walk but is content laying in a sunny spot or just hanging with me. Sage, my stolen rescue kitty is still entertaining and loving.

I am approaching my formerly referred to “helliversary” with a lighter heart than I have the past few years.   I have set those who have passed, and those who have chosen to remove themselves from my life, free with love and gratitude.

I am also grateful for my readership who has seen me through cancer, highs and lows, loss and more loss and appreciated my cynical and often irreverent view on it all.   Seeing the humor in things is much easier and a lot less messy than opening a vein and blogging about it all is certainly a lot cheaper than therapy.   wellallhaveastory

Why Amazon is making me love eBay all over again

I have had a small business on eBay for more than 10 years selling primarily infant goods.. security blankets and the like.  It was a fun little side job. Nothing I could support myself fully with but I did okay. After my husband died I tried going back to work full time, but it didn’t work out. For my part, it was just too soon and I was still running the business and trying to navigate my way through widowhood and reaching the end of cancer treatment.  On the employer’s part they kind of blatantly misrepresented the job.  After spending 3 months  doing nothing but filing and moving large stacks of charts around while mainlining Ativan just to get through the day, I decided to quit and work on building my little business.  I took a leap of faith and the remaining chunk of life insurance to buy inventory and started looking into other venues to sell.  Bonanza and 11 Main synced nicely with eBay and required very little effort on my part. Etsy was great for selling the vintage toys I had on hand and leaving my store for the new gift items.  Then I decided to try Amazon. I am a long time customer, have had great customer service (as a buyer) and it was very easy to set up store.   Most of the items were already in the catalog and it was free to list, unlike eBay, though their final value fees make up for it. I did pretty well for a while. Even sold a few large ticket items and had 100% customer service rating.  Recently I sold a turntable that had never been used. Packaged it up nicely and had UPS pick it up. Apparently it was drop kicked across a few states and arrived broken.  I immediately offered a full refund on return, including return postage. The poor buyer apparently did not understand simple directions and instead of using the prepaid label, he opened an A-Z claim.  aka.. the kiss of death for a small 3rd party seller on Amazon. After reviewing our messages the case was closed in my favor. Should have been the end of story, right? No. Because I am small volume that ONE case knocked me out of play in my main category for the holiday selling season. Understandably, I lost  my shit and began emailing customer service.  I knew it would get me nowhere but if I could be a small thorn in someone’s side for a few weeks it would help fill the time that could have been spent shipping orders that I was no longer receiving.  Every CS I spoke to agreed that my poor customer metrics would “fall off” in time to sell, which I knew was not true.  Then, because the customer ended up sending the package back via USPS instead of UPS, spending twice what it should have been, I did not reimburse his return shipping and he left me a negative review. Coffin. Final nail. And..UPS won’t entertain the thought of an insurance claim because “how do we know the damage didn’t happen on the way back via the post office”?   Don’t worry, UPS.  Your dedicated blog is in the works. Amazon, in the meantime, has been bombarding me with an invitation to use FBA, which would require me packaging up and shipping all my inventory to their warehouse (admittedly tempting) but would be so cost prohibitive that I would make little to nothing.

At least I could still expect good customer service on the buying end.  I was expecting family for a month and had purchased a sofa bed. The day it was delivered it did not fit down the stairs to the room it was intended for.  I sent it back and having only 2-3 days to find something else I turned to Amazon Prime.  I found a decent foam bed that could be delivered in 2 days.  Ordered, bought bedding and waited. It. never. arrived.  No notification it would be late. No apology. By the time it came, a week later, I had borrowed something else and refused delivery.  Strike 2 Amazon.

After my selling fiasco I had already decided that eBay would get more of my business and had ordered a sleeping bag for a visiting toddler. Imagine my surprise when it arrived in an Amazon box.  Amazon’s FBA promises discreet shipping when you sell on other venues as well, which is clearly untrue. Strike 3

Recently I decided to upgrade my Kindle tablet. I sent the old one back as a trade in. Excellent condition.  I noticed that the leather jacket I purchased was not an item that could be traded in and in fact was no longer sold. I tried listing it and saw that the selling fees would be roughly 50%. That is not a typo.  That baby is listed on eBay as we speak.  Strike 4.

They have had my Kindle for nearly 3 weeks and when I questioned when I could expect credit I received an email that it might be lost (it tracks as delivered and processing) and to give them a little more time. Strike 5.

Really Amazon? Did I win some jacked up lottery?

My question to any Amazon employee who happens to stumble across this is why am I being held to a higher customer service standard than Amazon is?  My metrics were 100% across the board until one incident that was 100% out of my control.  Your customer service has been abysmal.   What gives? Anyone?

 

 

Why I’m the better man than you.

And “you” know who you are. I’ve known you since I was 18, my husband since he was 5. You were in my wedding. We have many friends in common. When my husband died I heard nothing from you. Nada. Nor did his children, the oldest, btw, who you knew since birth. You were still stinging, apparently, from a class reunion during which he mentioned your high school nickname. A nickname that everyone knew. He may have gone overboard with a riff worthy of Robin Williams – may he rest in peace – (and believe me, he heard about it when we got home), but you and I both know he didn’t have a mean bone in his body. He was mortified that you were hurt and tried over and over to make amends. You, on the other hand, have always been on the spiteful side. As anyone who has ever worked for or dated you can attest.

A few months ago I was helping my good friend with her catering business and I happened to work the Chamber luncheon. You walked in, took one look at me, and walked away. I was the invisible help. Whatever.

Tonight you tried to ignore me again and it worked until you were on your way past us a second time and my mom spoke up. You couldn’t ignore her. Then, you looked me in the face, feigned surprise and said “oh yeah. Sue”. Really? wtf was that? oh yeah? STILL not a mention of my loss, no inquiry of the children, my mother in law? me? You did see fit to share that you are “happy” and “actually had a good round of golf today”, to which I did not reply “fuck you”. So. I am the better man.